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Tue Dec 18, 2012, 03:51 PM

More Guns, More Mass Shootings—Coincidence?

Excellent article from Motherjones - worth the read!

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/09/mass-shootings-investigation





In the fierce debate that always follows the latest mass shooting, it's an argument you hear frequently from gun rights promoters: If only more people were armed, there would be a better chance of stopping these terrible events. This has plausibility problems—what are the odds that, say, a moviegoer with a pack of Twizzlers in one pocket and a Glock in the other would be mentally prepared, properly positioned, and skilled enough to take out a body-armored assailant in a smoke- and panic-filled theater? But whether you believe that would happen is ultimately a matter of theory and speculation. Instead, let's look at some facts gathered in a two-month investigation by Mother Jones.

In the wake of the slaughters this summer at a Colorado movie theater and a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, we set out to track mass shootings in the United States over the last 30 years. We identified and analyzed 62 of them, and one striking pattern in the data is this: In not a single case was the killing stopped by a civilian using a gun. Moreover, we found that the rate of mass shootings has increased in recent years—at a time when America has been flooded with millions of additional firearms and a barrage of new laws has made it easier than ever to carry them in public. And in recent rampages in which armed civilians attempted to intervene, they not only failed to stop the shooter but also were gravely wounded or killed.

America has long been heavily armed relative to other societies, and our arsenal keeps growing. A precise count isn't possible because most guns in the United States aren't registered and the government has scant ability to track them, thanks to a legislative landscape shaped by powerful pro-gun groups such as the National Rifle Association. But through a combination of national surveys and manufacturing and sales data, we know that the increase in firearms has far outpaced population growth. In 1995 there were an estimated 200 million guns in private hands. Today, there are around 300 million—about a 50 percent jump. The US population, now over 314 million, grew by about 20 percent in that period. At this rate, there will be a gun for every man, woman, and child before the decade ends.

There is no evidence indicating that arming Americans further will help prevent mass shootings or reduce the carnage, says Dr. Stephen Hargarten, a leading expert on emergency medicine and gun violence at the Medical College of Wisconsin. To the contrary, there appears to be a relationship between the proliferation of firearms and a rise in mass shootings: By our count, there have been two per year on average since 1982. Yet 25 of the 62 cases we examined have occurred since 2006. This year alone there have already been seven mass shootings—and a record number of casualties, with more than 140 people injured and killed.

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Reply More Guns, More Mass Shootings—Coincidence? (Original post)
Maine-ah Dec 2012 OP
HooptieWagon Dec 2012 #1
Maine-ah Dec 2012 #2
HooptieWagon Dec 2012 #3
Maine-ah Dec 2012 #4
Janspece Dec 2012 #5
TimKeller Dec 2012 #6

Response to Maine-ah (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 12:17 AM

1. More guns, fewer gun deaths. FBI statistics.

I have no idea why they would write an article on guns reporting the statistics on the FBI's own website. Sloppy reporting? Deliberate omission?

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Response to HooptieWagon (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 08:29 AM

2. I think you missed the fact

that the article is about mass shootings. Not over-all gun related deaths. I'd say sloppy reading and interpretation.

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Response to Maine-ah (Reply #2)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 12:36 PM

3. No, I didn't misread. I disagree with the article's premise.

I agree that guns are too prevalent and too easily accessable. However, if guns are to blame for an increase in mass murder, then why isn't there an increase in gun-homicide in general? Isn't the real problem that there are more potential mass murderers among our society, and they will use whatever weapons available? Then, shouldn't the goal be to prevent them from accessing ANY weapon, rather than preventing them from accessing one particular kind of weapon?

Lets look at a recent case. Just before the shooting, a man was killed when a homeless, and apparently mentally ill, man pushed him onto the subway tracks in front of a train. Using the gun-banner's logic, that can be prevented by banning subway trains. The real solution is to make sure people like him aren't loose in public.

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Response to HooptieWagon (Reply #3)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 01:12 PM

4. this particular discussion

is not about single murders. It's about mass murders. Your example is moot.

I own three guns - most of us in Maine do. However, I do not own three guns that could kill 20 people in a matter of seconds. They are unnecessary - and I do not expect all guns to be illegal, nor would I want them to be - the other side of it - our mental health care in this country sucks. To make some attempt to fix this problem, both issues have to be discussed, and both sides of the gun issues need to have an open mind about it. Open yours. This gun owner and Mother is willing to.

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Response to Maine-ah (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 04:29 PM

5. Get Rid Of The Guns

 

Strict Gun Laws Will Help America

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Response to Maine-ah (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 05:03 PM

6. Interesting points, thank for the post

I recently wrote about the NRA's lobbying power, oddly enough on the night before the Newtown Tragedy.

http://unapologeticallyliberal.wordpress.com/2012/12/13/the-killing-routine-nras-effect-on-the-us/

Please share if you can, getting an established audience is difficult.

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